Following Keke riders’ Strike action in the state on Monday 26th February 2018, the government of Plateau has banned indefinitely the use of Commercial motorcycles popularly called Keke Napep in Jos with immediate effect. This was contained in a statement issued by the State Government to Media houses through Emmanuel Nanle the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor and made available to newsmen in Jos.
Tricycles operators popularly known as Keke in Jos metropolis embarked on a protest today Monday 26th February over incessant harassment by VIO and FRSC, alleging that they were asked to get a drivers License for N15,000 to N20,000. According to T.H MAYO in Jos, Public and private activities were held to a standstill in Jos as Tricycle operators went on strike in protest against what they described Federal Road Safety harassment and Vehicle Inspection Officers extortion.
According to T.H. Mayo, the chairman of the amalgamated commercial tricycle and motorcycle owners ,repairers and riders association of nigeria (ACOMORAN) Alh Abdullahi Shehu Sarki said their members had rejected the policy on the ground that the price was exorbitant. He however said the association will sit government representative before the end of the day and chat the way forward.
Keke Napep motorists disrupt movement in Jos metropolis as they embark on a peacful protest.
— Ivie Omoruyi (Miss) (@Hee_vi_Ay) February 26, 2018
In what was supposed to be a peaceful protest, members of the public reported a breakdown of law and order, destruction of valuable government properties, especially in Jos metropolis by members of the Keke Riders Association while embarking on the strike action. Federal Road Safety Corps reported destruction of several vehicles. Police Anti-riot vehicles were seen all over the state, while fully armed Police officers prevented assess to VIO and FRSC offices in the state.
— #WeJOSocial (@PLSGovt) February 26, 2018
As a result of the strike, Jos a city in the Middle Belt of Nigeria with a population of over 1 million people, according to the last census in the state saw many especially public, private sector workers, students affected. Many were seen trekking to their various places of service where some were trapped at home. Some business owners told journalists of a huge loss of income due to the inability of customers to move around. Commuters complained of a 100% increase in fares through the city.
Ladies and gentlemen, brethren from Jos, if you have a car and one boy/girl that has been forming for you since just decided to “check up on You” don’t fall for it, issa trap, keke drivers are on strike
N.B don’t call me, I dey Maiduguri!
— Wulengme M Gonshing (@Wulengme) February 26, 2018
This is however not the first time in which government banned commercial tricycle activities in the state, as there was a similar ban at the peak of Operation Safe Haven in the State in August 2016. The ban then was due to security reports that there were inflows of strangers into the state of people suspected to be Boko Haram members.